All This Junk

One of the not-so-fun parts about going back to the company’s headquarters in Detroit to wrap up a tour is moving out of the semi.  When we turn the truck in for repairs and maintenance we have to also take all of our stuff out of it.  Since we have been in that tractor for an entire year we had a ton of stuff.  The last time we had to do this is, it turned into an entire afternoon and two runs to the store for storage totes.  I’m certain that don’t have less this time but less of the items that we don’t use.  It took about three hours to pack it all up and clean the inside.  This is also the time we take to get rid of worn out or underused items.  I like to wear a brand of used called Jambu (J-41) for set-up, they are comfy, have a protected toe and are tough.  However I’m super hard on them and this pair was just about done for.  Why pack them up when they are nearly trashed?

We also go through all the boxes in our closet at the company apartment, tossing out the clothes and others items that you just won’t use anymore.  I often get asked about how we deal with clothes on the road, we buy new ones.  Having such a small wardrobe and using hotel machines to launder, that does not bode well for the life of an item.  When you are tired of it, toss it and go to Target.

So one garbage bag and two for Goodwill later we were all set for another year on the road.  I’m writing this from my folk’s house and totally forgot to pack warm enough clothing.  Oh well I guess Mom and I will have to go shopping!!!!

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We wrapped up our year-long tour with the Library of Congress on Sunday and were greeted again by those delightful little stink bugs once we hit Virginia. It was an instant reminder we really have been gone for a year. Saturday was a much tougher than I had expected; so many friendly faces and hugs to be found. I’m not a terribly sentimental person but when the Librarian of Congress comes by to thank you for your work the past year it’s a bit over whelming.

Closing each tour is a little sad but after you’ve done it a few times the sting goes away. We have enjoyed working with the Library of Congress a great deal but being able to wrap up the project has its pluses too.  I have a TON of paperwork to clean up and recaps.

We are spending time with our families over the next few weeks and going to see friends. I will probably be telling a few more stories. But right now I am just unplugging.

AAM – Day 3 (fin)

Ugg, so now that the convention is completed I have all the time in the world to stew about all the things I didn’t do. That darn hindsight, gets you every time. The Library of Congress exhibit is not scheduled by requests, so many of the folks we talked too were only looking for that information. Why did I not get every single person’s contact info! It’s not like this will be the last museum we work with, by any means, and I want those contacts for future tours. I hosted a tweetup that went well but could have been better. I also could have had it announced that I was taking photos of people “Driving the Truck” on the loudspeaker. I’m not new to social networking but I’m no expert. You always get better right.

We also had the fun of writing of report for the sales team, so many potential tours out there. We are just going to enjoy our time off before getting back at it.

AAM – Day Two

I always thought our life was nuts, well conventions are nuts! We have been running around like man men all morning getting the ready. Our company is presenting this morning to convention goers about the opportunities to create a mobile program for their museums. Not every museum can use a mobile like ours but I’m honestly amazed at how many here could create a killer program with our help. So many facilities would like to integrate their already in place outreach programs with a broader scope. Let’s get out of doors and into schools.

Last night we had a few minutes to sit down and talk about all the people we met and what opportunities might be out there to create some really cool programs. I’m not comfortable talking specifically about what museums are calling but 2012 might be the year of military tours. I’ve got to tell you that Josh and I are going to have a hard time not trying to do them all! As we’re learning more it is clear that some of these museums want some huge exhibits. Like multiple trucks, tents, inflatables and more! While The Roving Van Gelders are awesome, I’m not a huge fan of touring with a large team. I really have no idea what is going to be next for us.

AAM – Day One

Ahhhh….. I’m comfortably tucked into bed after surviving day one of the convention.  I say surviving because I have spent the last eight hours on my feet talking to hundreds of people about our trucks.  While we are featuring the Gateway to Knowledge exhibit from the Library of Congress we are here to promote our company, MRA.  Our role is to talk about what we do in the field as tour staff for the company and what kinds of services we can provide.  How do you explain to someone that you literally do everything. Crazy right, I know my dear regular readers know that we do it all but how do you explain that without bragging.

Hundreds of people can to see us today, they all want their own truck.  Honestly some of them might actually peruse it and I would really like tour for a few of those guys.  We talked with all sorts of museums today and are incredibly excited at the what the horizon might hold.  The Library of Congress tour will likely end this fall, or at least end for us. We’re fried out here.

I mentioned that warm bed huh, it is a very nice bed in a lovely historic hotel in downtown Houston. We are staying at The Lancaster, not too shabby. Usually historic hotels ar tiny but our room is HUGE!!

So I bid you a goodnight!!!

Stand By for AAM

I want to warn our regular readers that I will be covering our experience exhibiting and attending the 2011 American Association of Museums Convention in Houston over the next week. Josh and I have wanted to be a part of this convention for years. It seams like each summer we get moved to a different tour just missing the opportunity to take a truck there.

Honestly we’re excited to see all of the other displays and meet attendees. What Josh and I do for a living is very niche and part of a small network. This is especially true for the museum style exhibits. We live in a bit of a bubble at times. I’m also planning to host a tweetup.

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